At one point, one in two women will get a urinary tract infection, three in four will get a yeast infection, and one in three women will get bacterial vaginosis.
Understanding how yeast infections, urinary tract infections and BV are related can help us better control vaginal health.
They can improve intestinal health and the immune system, and create a healthy bacterial balance in the vagina.
Lactobacillus keeps yeast and other harmful bacteria at a distance, releasing acids and maintaining a low vaginal pH.
Bv is associated with high vaginal pH (above 4.5) and low content of Lactobacillus bacteria in the vagina.
This may be caused by potentially pathogenic bacteria such as Atopobium vaginae, Gardnerella vaginalis, Peptostreptococcus, Megasphera, Bacteroides, Mycoplasma hominis, Mobiluncus and Prevotella.
Although the bacteria listed above are not necessarily guilty, there are fewer bacterial strains for women with good vaginal health.
Fortunately, scientists have identified some types of bacteria that are particularly effective in protecting the vaginal and intestinal microflora and provide immunity to disorders that can lead to overgrowth of extremely hostile species of yeast and bacteria.
Clinical studies have shown that bacteria of the genus Lactobacillus, especially taken orally daily, are particularly effective in creating and maintaining healthy vaginal microflora.
Studies have shown that certain types of Lactobacillus can inhibit the growth of pathogenic organisms such as Gardnerella vaginalis and Candida albicans.
Doctor, director of science and member of the scientific panel Jarrow Formulas, a producer and supplier of supplements based in Los Angeles, to learn more about the relationship between probiotic supplementation and vaginal microflora.
Thomas: High levels of Lactobacillus bacteria are a general feature of vaginal health.
Most vaginal microbial communities are dominated by one or two species of Lactobacillus, accounting for more than half of all microbes found in this community.
I would speculate that fermented foods containing live active microbial cultures could indirectly support vaginal health if it had a positive effect on the composition of the intestinal microflora as a reservoir for bacteria that can migrate into the vagina.
As I said earlier, fermented foods containing live active cultures are not necessarily the source of probiotics.
In my opinion, to support vaginal and urinary tract health, women should take a probiotic supplement containing certain strains at a level that is effective.
L acidophilus, which is available in most healthy food probiotics, can relieve bacterial vaginosis.
Yogurt contains bacteria that are supposed to reduce the risk of intestinal and vaginal infections.
Most vaginal and bladder pathogens, as well as normal vaginal flora, protrude from the skin of the rectum.
In another small study involving 42 healthy women, taking a probiotic was enough to heal the vagina and maintain healthy bacterial levels.
Other studies looked at the effects of using a vaginal probiotic suppository in the treatment of BV.
In a small study, researchers found that 57 percent of women who used the Lactobacillus vaginal suppository were able to cure BV and maintain a healthy balance of vaginal bacteria even after treatment.
Currently, metronidazole is the drug of choice for the treatment of bacterial vaginosis.
There are two recommended dosing schedules for metronidazole: 500 mg twice daily for seven days or 2 g as a single oral dose.
Bacterial vaginosis can be found in combination with other vaginal infections, including chlamydia, trichomoniasis and yeast vaginosis, which makes diagnosis extremely difficult and problematic treatment.
Loss of vaginal lactobacilli appears to be a major factor in the cascade of changes leading to bacterial vaginosis 18, and relapses are associated with the inability to establish a healthy vaginal bacterial flora dominated by lactic acid bacteria.
Essentially, bacterial vaginosis is considered an overgrowth of anaerobic organisms combined with the loss of protective lactic bacteria normally found in a healthy vagina.
Although it is impossible to obtain actual incidence rates, bacterial vaginosis is considered to be the most common cause of vaginal symptoms.
Bacterial vaginosis can occur in women without any symptoms, but is generally associated with homogeneous white vaginal discharge.
The types present in the vaginal mucosa differ between premenopausal women and those who have undergone menopause.
However, until we learn more about the dynamics of such a population and we are not sure that it will not increase the risk of disease, lactobacilli remain the most important organisms for vaginal health.
Although the vaginal tract dominated by lactobacilli appears to protect the host against some vaginal infections, they do not completely prevent colonization by other species.
Vaginal microbial species play an important role in maintaining good health and preventing infection.
By comparison, the intestine is colonized by over 800 species of microbes, most of which are excreted in faeces, and some of them are well equipped with pathogens.
Despite the closeness of the vagina to the anus, the variety of microorganisms present in the vagina is much lower than in the intestine.
The reason for this lower diversity is still unclear, but may include poor vaginal sensitivity, availability of other nutrients in the intestines, and competition with native organisms.
Fortunately, some studies have been conducted that, in an additional form, can contribute to a healthier vaginal environment.
Lactobacilli are the main source of lactic acid in the vagina, and vaginal acidity is important to provide full protection against unwanted microbes.